Systems Design has been a hot topic of late—so fiery hot that books are being written, platforms developed, events organized, and tools released to help us all with this growing need. It feels a lot like a ‘what’s old is new again’ kind of topic. If we’re being real, the notion of Systems Design has been around since at least the industrial era—it’s not exclusive to the digital age.
So, why the newness and why now?
Let’s look deeper into why there seems to be a rising interest in Systems Design. Here are a few factors that may be driving things right now:
Digital is pervasive: Where there used to be a separation between offline and online, there is no more. Businesses that were offline are now online and businesses that started online are expanding beyond.
Platforms are expanding: At one point in time we were designing for a single digital presence—the website. Then, it was sites and apps across a universe of displays—from wristwatches to stadium displays. Lately, what we see emerging are fully immersive extended reality (XR) environments—that’s just one side of the coin. On the other, displays are becoming non-essential thanks to voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Put simply, it’s a lot to keep up with and stay ahead of.
Consumer expectations are rising: The most successful brands are trusted by their customers because of their attention to detail, whether it be customer service, user experience, or overall impact. The more consistent and polished your brand is across your universe of touch points, the more likely it is that you are trusted no matter where you are.
Whether you’re developing a software stack or engineering bridges, the need for leaders who can design, develop, and manage complex solutions and systems over their lifecycle is rapidly growing. It’s times like these that we take what we have and make things better, more efficient, and more effective.
With Cornell’s Systems Design Online Certificate Program, you will learn to define the systems design challenges you are trying to solve, define functional requirements, and objectively measure the value of any potential systems design solution. The program will also guide you through the process of developing documentation for any system, from initial scoping through detailed design.